Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Chinese-Produced Version of Zidovudine Enters Market
Kedu, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's antiretroviral drug zidovudine that is produced in China, went on sale in the country this week in tablet and capsule forms, Xinhua News Agency reports. Northeast China Pharmaceuticals Group Company last month received marketing permission from the State Drug Administration for the drug, whose patent protection expired last year in China. Combination therapy containing zidovudine typically costs between $301 and $361 per month in China, a price "far beyond the means" of most Chinese people with HIV. Chen Gang, Northeast's chair, said he hopes the company's version will lower the cost of combination therapy to below $1,204 per year (Xinhua News Agency, 9/3). Northeast spokesperson Gou Xilian declined to say how much Kedu costs, but said that the drug is available through hospitals by prescription (Dow Jones/Asian Wall Street Journal, 9/3). UNAIDS estimated that at the end of last year, 820,000 Chinese people were HIV-positive (Kyodo News, 9/1).
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